Part 57: Part the NinendActually, Flare is non-elemental and defense-ignoring. It looks like fire, but it isn't. It only has about as much power as Fire2, but it doesn't hit weaknesses. The defense-ignoring usually makes it better, and always makes it better against anything with decent Magic Defense.
It can be reflected, too. Not all the things AtmaWeapon does can be, sadly.
Also: Oops, I accidentally trivialized the supposed hardest boss in a LLG!
Let's Low-Level Run Final Fantasy 6: Part the Ninend
Right so back we go to Thamasa where we're the invincible General Leo.
Oh. He's also level-adjusted. Higher than everybody else, yes, but still.
Well, when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping! Leo for some reason must've picked Terra's pocket after Kefka knocked them all down because he has all the party's money and items (perhaps this was all part of some elaborate inheritance fraud scheme). Despite the city supposedly being in chaos with Imperial troops burning everything and the Guardians
Whoops. I got this Game Over when I was trying to see if anything I could do would cause Leo to do his casting animation. So there's Leo's KO sprite I guess.
Shock is not as exciting at level 11. Anyway Leo has insanely high MBlock% for this stage of the game (about 61; at best we can get ~47 or so), so for the most part he dodges Kefka's fortunately weak spells. Just keep Shocking (his melee is pathetic at this level) until Kefka, then Leo, dies.
Then go grind out Strago, Relm, and Celes on Intangirs. Or at least Strago and Celes. Trust me.
Okay! It's prep time for the approach to the Floating Continent. This is widely regarded as one of the worst parts of the game for a LLG run. Several good reasons for that:
1) It's a gauntlet of 6 regular encounters which are insanely hard, can kill you in an instant, and which require you get party members killed in particular ways. And then you still have to reset if you don't get the proper formations. And worst of all, it's forced experience gain.
2) You then face two bosses in a row. While you are healed between, neither boss is exactly easy. In fact, the Air Force is widely regarded as one of the worst bosses in the entire LLG run, with the one before it more of a pleasant distraction. As I found out, that's entirely untrue, but it requires a paradigm shift in how you're supposed to be fighting bosses from what you're used to.
3) You only have three party members, and while two of them are Gau and Strago (hooray!), one of them has to be Cyan. Has to be. Fuuuuuuck.
4) Once you actually get to the Floating Continent, you must use the Gau/Strago/Cyan party to actually get through the Floating Continent. Then something even more horrible happens, but we'll leave that for now.
Important preparations. Gau needs ZoneSeek, because Gau is about to gain five levels. There's no way to prevent this, but Gau taking them is critical because there's something only Gau can do that will save our level average. With ZoneSeek he gains 10 Magic Power, a considerable help. He also roughly doubles his HP and MP. Gau easily becomes a LLG's best character if he wasn't already, simply because he's so much higher-level.
Having said that, Gau's high level will actually work against him later, and we will not be able to use him at times as a result. This means that even if Gau is the best choice for certain upcoming bosses, we cannot actually use him for some of them.
Set up like this. You might give Gau the Flame Shield instead; I traded it from Strago to Gau after the first battle. Basically you want to keep in mind that the IAF units are all critically weak against wind damage. Wind Slash not only will do lots of damage to them, but it will hit the entire screen, quite a nice edge in a forced series of Pincer Attacks. Cyan's Tempest, in addition to just generally being strong, is wind-element and has a chance of using Wind Slash instead of regular attacks. So this is perhaps the only time you want to have Cyan use regular attacks. Strago uses Aqua Rake on whichever side has the most guys on it.
None of this matters for long however, because Cyan and Strago are only allowed to be alive for the first battle. To minimize experience gains at 5 levels for Gau, we need to encounter one group of two Sky Armors and a Spit Fire with all of our party alive (Cyan actually can be dead; Strago will be 7 exp from gaining a level). Gau must then fight the next 5 encounters alone, and AT LEAST ONE ENCOUNTER must have only a single Sky Armor in it or he'll hit 14 instead. If that sounds annoying, it is. Fortunately if Gau has a Flame Shield, Absolute Zero from Spit Fires is harmless, greatly reducing reload frustration. Otherwise just hope Gau can get off a Wind Slash before he's hit by more than one Tek Laser and/or before someone uses Propeller/Absolute Zero. After a couple levels, Wind Slash should one-shot them.
That's, strangely enough, the hard part. Next, of course, we must face off against Ultros and Chupon.
Now, even if you've never played FF6, or honestly if you have, you've probably made all of the following assumptions, as they are entirely reasonable:
- Having conveyed himself and Ultros to the Blackjack in flight that, at the very least, Chupon can fly.
- That it is not possible to cause an earthquake in midair.
- That Gau is not the best healer in the entire first half of the game.
Which brings us to the Air Force itself. Done incorrectly, the Air Force is a bitch of a boss that is nearly impossible to beat. Gau using Intangir or Rhinox with a Flame Shield absorbs everything the Air Force can throw at it other than Missile, which won't kill you unless you're at 1 HP. The problem is, Air Force will actually run out of MP for everything that heals Gau, resulting in his eventual death because he can't deal any actual damage to Air Force.
So that sucks.
But as it turns out, Air Force isn't that hard. If you assume you can't beat Air Force in a damage race, you're mistaken; just spamming Bolt2 is enough to win eventually if the Tek Lasers don't concentrate too hard on one guy. However, you can trivialize the fight by casting Stop on Laser Gun, thus completely cutting off Tek Lasers and reducing the Air Force to some modest moves and Missile, which as I said can't kill you that easily. Air Force only has 8000 HP. That's basically 3-4 Gau Bolt2s or 3 of those and 2-3 from Strago and Cyan. You not only can win this one by sheer damage output, you pretty much have to. Stop helps though. I don't see any mention of using Stop in any of the guides I've read, but the monster guides clearly indicate the Air Force guns are vulnerable to it. Oh well, maybe Atma Weapon will provide a challenge.
Gau: +5 from 8 to 13. +10 Magic Power from Zoneseek. Shine on you crazy diamond.